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Concerto firmware thread

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9 hours ago, batari said:

No, that file (hbios_concerto_0.95noflash.bin) goes in the root directory of your SD card.

 

The eeloader_NTSC.bin file is included with the programming software. If you can't find it, you can use this one I am posting here.

 

eeloader_104e_NTSC.bin 13.74 kB · 1 download

Thanks Fred.

 

I *think* Ive figured this out.  You need to install the eeloader (new or a previous version) to kickstart the cartridge to look for the hbios_concerto_0.95noflash.bin file on the SD card upon startup to update the BIOS.

 

That makes sense to me but isnt really spelled out in any of the instructions.  Ill give that a shot.

 

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I think something is up with my Concerto now - The software wont recognize my Concerto no matter what I do.  It looks good connected to the computer but the software cant connect to it.

 

I have not done anything since yesterday - I was  going to upload the eeloader file but cant get the device to connect.

 

Ive set everything up on another PC and no luck.  Fred I get my replacement on the 13th so Ill wait until then to test unless there is another way to force a connection?  The cart works in my 7800 but just cant connect via USB to the PC now.

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21 hours ago, batari said:

It shouldn't be bricked. The EEPROM loader download didn't succeed but you can try downloading it again until it does succeed.

 

If you have to, unplug the Concerto, plug it in again and wait a moment before pressing "download EEPROM."

 

If the software keeps giving similar errors in the download, PM me as there is a WIP version of the software that fixes this issue, but is not quite ready for release yet.

Hi Fred - As an update, I tried to flash my Concerto several times and got a number of different errors. Sometimes it went through the download process, sometimes not, but in each case it returned an error. I finally opened the case and removed the POKEY I have installed and then tried again. That time the bootloader download worked perfectly. After that, I put the Concerto inside my 7800 and booted it up - the BIOS was updated without issue. After that, I reinstalled the POKEY chip and all is good, and no more bright flashing during boot, so thanks!

 

Glad I decided against installing a screw under the label of my cart!

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2 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Hi Fred - As an update, I tried to flash my Concerto several times and got a number of different errors. Sometimes it went through the download process, sometimes not, but in each case it returned an error. I finally opened the case and removed the POKEY I have installed and then tried again. That time the bootloader download worked perfectly. After that, I put the Concerto inside my 7800 and booted it up - the BIOS was updated without issue. After that, I reinstalled the POKEY chip and all is good, and no more bright flashing during boot, so thanks!

 

Glad I decided against installing a screw under the label of my cart!

Good to hear.

 

Removing the Pokey often helps but I don’t expect people to be thrilled about having to do that, so I’m working on fixing that. The WIP version addresses the bug where the Pokey interferes with communication, but currently it isn’t ready for public release. 

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Update on my situation.

 

My Pre-Production Concerto was able to connect via USB and then decided it didnt want to anymore.  I tried to connect via 3 computers with no success.

 

Today I took the Pokey chip out and wala it worked.  I was able to update the BIOS.

 

For those a bit confused like myself - in order to update the bootloader you need to run Step 1 in the Harmony software via the Micro USB connection first with an eeloader.bin file.

 

image.png

 

Once this is done you can then put the new BIOS on the root of the SD cart and turn the 7800 on - the BIOS Bootloader will be updated.

 

 

One other side issue - Im using Trebors 7800 ROM pack (latest).  Using the .95 BIOS (flashing) with my POKEY chip installed I was not able to start 2600 Venture from the "BY COMPANY->COLECO" folder.  Pretty much all other 2600 ROMS (including Donkey Kong) worked fine.

 

After I removed the Pokey and updated to the NO FLASH BIOS Venture works fine (POKEY not installed).

 

Anyone else seen anything like this?

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Goochman said:

Today I took the Pokey chip out and wala it worked.

Same as I posted on Friday afternoon just two posts above. :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Goochman said:

One other side issue - Im using Trebors 7800 ROM pack (latest).  Using the .95 BIOS (flashing) with my POKEY chip installed I was not able to start 2600 Venture from the "BY COMPANY->COLECO" folder.  Pretty much all other 2600 ROMS (including Donkey Kong) worked fine.

Evidently, ROM packs are being mixed (up).  Trebors 7800 ROM PROPack does not contain 2600 ROMs.  From what is being described, you may also have ROM Hunter's Atari 2600 VCS ROM Collection.

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Hey everyone,

 

Late to the party as usual. I just updated the bios to the .95 with no flash. It seems to be working fine except for one issue (which I've had since the beginning). No matter what controller I use (edladdin stick, genesis, atari or WICO), on the menu and in game, about half the time when I press the stick in a certain direction, it will move two spaces. For example, in menu I'll press down one (very quickly - not holding it down), and it'll skip an entry and go to the third, and so on. This is also affecting gameplay. I've scrubbed this thread and I don't see anyone with similar issues. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you remedy it? Thanks! 

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39 minutes ago, bszarek001 said:

Hey everyone,

 

Late to the party as usual. I just updated the bios to the .95 with no flash. It seems to be working fine except for one issue (which I've had since the beginning). No matter what controller I use (edladdin stick, genesis, atari or WICO), on the menu and in game, about half the time when I press the stick in a certain direction, it will move two spaces. For example, in menu I'll press down one (very quickly - not holding it down), and it'll skip an entry and go to the third, and so on. This is also affecting gameplay. I've scrubbed this thread and I don't see anyone with similar issues. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you remedy it? Thanks! 

If it is affecting gameplay as well, then it is almost certainly a hardware issue rather than an issue with the multicart. Once the game is loaded, the Concerto isn't a factor anymore. I'm wondering if there's a loose wire for that joystick port or somesuch. A hardware person might have more ideas.

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7 minutes ago, Karl G said:

If it is affecting gameplay as well, then it is almost certainly a hardware issue rather than an issue with the multicart. Once the game is loaded, the Concerto isn't a factor anymore. I'm wondering if there's a loose wire for that joystick port or somesuch. A hardware person might have more ideas.

Joystick directions are read by the RIOT chip, if I recall correctly. I’d verify the issue with some bare 2600 and 7800 carts (e.g., not a ROM loaded from the Concerto), then open up the console and verify continuity, voltages, etc. Pull the schematics and start checking for any failures or cracked/cold solder joints as well. If the console has been modded in the past, check for stray solder flakes that might cause an intermittent issue also. 

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So that’s the strange thing - I have tried on newer homebrews as well as the harmony cart and older 7800 carts with no issues. Unfortunately here in Belgium I don’t have all my soldering tools handy, and as you would expect, the unit is UAV composite modded. I have my meter.  I can check continuity on the RIOT, but if it was that, wouldn’t it affect all carts/ROMs? Thanks all. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 8:52 AM, bszarek001 said:

So that’s the strange thing - I have tried on newer homebrews as well as the harmony cart and older 7800 carts with no issues. Unfortunately here in Belgium I don’t have all my soldering tools handy, and as you would expect, the unit is UAV composite modded. I have my meter.  I can check continuity on the RIOT, but if it was that, wouldn’t it affect all carts/ROMs? Thanks all. 

So if you load the same game between actual cartridge and concerto, the issue isn't present on the actual game cartridge then?

 

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1 hour ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

So if you load the same game between actual cartridge and concerto, the issue isn't present on the actual game cartridge then?

 

That’s correct. The issue is obviously more prevalent on the Concerto menu screen, but it does happen after the rom has loaded. I’ll try and do some videos tonight or tomorrow to show the issue. 

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5 minutes ago, bszarek001 said:

That’s correct. The issue is obviously more prevalent on the Concerto menu screen, but it does happen after the rom has loaded. I’ll try and do some videos tonight or tomorrow to show the issue. 

Have you tried a different SD card? I know that I had an issue with moving around the menu was cured by using a different card 

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1 hour ago, mimo said:

Have you tried a different SD card? I know that I had an issue with moving around the menu was cured by using a different card 

Good idea. I'll give it a try. Thanks! 

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I know I'm a bit late to the party but I would love to play both 7800 and 2600 games on my great Concerto and need to know where the latest and greatest firmware is that'll run both on my 7800, even though I know I have to change the SD cards out, in which is no problem with me.

 

Also, I just started a thread in both the 8-bit and 5200 forums on perhaps a similar multicart that'll run both 5200 and 8-bit/XEGS games on the 8-bit computers/XEGS, check this out:

 

 

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5 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

I know I'm a bit late to the party but I would love to play both 7800 and 2600 games on my great Concerto and need to know where the latest and greatest firmware is that'll run both on my 7800, even though I know I have to change the SD cards out, in which is no problem with me.

You want to be running 0.95 from the following post:

 

Don't use any of the other later versions of 0.95 for now.  Those were made to test specific issues on specific machines.  Just stick with this one for the moment; it's the 'stock' firmware.  2600 games work fine on my 7800, taking the known exceptions into account.

 

BTW: why do you say you'll need to change the SD cards out?

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2 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

BTW: why do you say you'll need to change the SD cards out?

I have separate SD cards for both Harmony (2600) and Concerto (7800) multicarts, so there is a way I can combine both even if it means putting them in separate folders on one SD card instead???

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Separate folders works just fine. I have been doing that with my Concerto since 2017 with my early alpha cart. There is no need for separate cards.

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9 hours ago, groundtrooper said:

Separate folders works just fine. I have been doing that with my Concerto since 2017 with my early alpha cart. There is no need for separate cards.

I'll confirm that this works without issue.  Mine has both 2600 and 7800 directories in the root of the card; I just browse to whichever one has the game I want to play and let the 7800 figure out which machine it needs to be to make that happen :-D

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5 hours ago, garycimera1968 said:

It’s mid-September and I just remembered the Pokey socket is still empty in my Concerto cart! Are they available publicly yet?

Some HOKEYs are already out there in and AtariAge homebrew games, so in a way, yes they have been released publicly.

 

For uses other than homebrew games, I first need to simplify the firmware update mechanism. That is the only hurdle left before I can release them to the public. Concerto owners will have the first crack at them, first those who had reservations, then the remaining Concerto owners, then the general public. Should be a matter of weeks at this point.

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7 hours ago, batari said:

Some HOKEYs are already out there in and AtariAge homebrew games, so in a way, yes they have been released publicly.

 

For uses other than homebrew games, I first need to simplify the firmware update mechanism. That is the only hurdle left before I can release them to the public. Concerto owners will have the first crack at them, first those who had reservations, then the remaining Concerto owners, then the general public. Should be a matter of weeks at this point.

That's definitely great news. I'll definitely want to pick one up for testing purposes when they are available.

 

One question - how much will they add to the cost per-cart if one releases a homebrew that uses them?

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